What does a spark arrestor do?

A spark arrestor is a device that not many people may know about. It is critical in the preservation of the environment and plays an important role in preventing wildland fires, as well as the ignition of explosive atmospheres. A spark arrestor is used in several industries and has a few different applications.

In this blog, we’re going to dive into what spark arrestors are, what they do, and how they can help you protect your home or business. If you’d like to skip to the good part though, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to get you started with brand new spark arrestors.

What are spark arrestors?

Spark arrestors are devices that can be found in combustion engines, wood stoves, fireplaces, as well as several types of electrical equipment. They play an important role in preventing the emission of flammable debris from reaching combustible areas within the machines in which they’re used. Spark arrestors are mandatory by law in many countries, and for good reason too.

 

Types of spark arrestors

There are a few types of spark arrestors available, let’s take a look at two of them:

Centrifugal

These types of spark arrestors use stationary vanes, baffles, or other devices to trap large particles. To do this, they use centrifugal force, as their name suggests. These types of spark arrestors are usually found on heavy construction and agricultural equipment such as combines and bulldozers. In some cases, you can also find these types of arrestors in motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.

 

Screen

These types of spark arrestors use a physical mesh to block large particles from leaving an exhaust system. Screens are the most common types of spark arrestors used around the world and can be found in small engines, ATVs, and most motorcycles.

 

Applications of spark arrestors

Spark arrestors have several essential applications for homeowners and business owners alike. Let’s take a closer look:

Spark arrestors in engines

Spark arrestors are used in both steam and internal combustion engines. For the former, arrestors have been crucial components in steam locomotives. Before they were introduced to these vehicles, the wood- and coal-burning process produced embers that were released into the atmosphere and transported by the wind.

The danger with this was that these embers, specifically the larger chunks of this particulate matter, could easily start wildland fires.

With internal combustion engines, it’s a bit of a different story. As these engines wear over time, carbon deposits start building up on the inner walls of the engines. When the deposits eventually break free, they are expelled through the exhaust system and have the potential to start fires.

 

Spark arrestors in buildings

Spark arrestors can be found in buildings around the world. They’re mostly found in chimney pots; their main function is to prevent floating embers from setting flammable roof surfaces alight, as well as to prevent these embers from floating down to the ground and starting fires.

 

The bottom line?

Spark arrestors have played an essential role since their conception to prevent unnecessary and highly hazardous fires around the world. If you’d like to learn more about these devices, lines are always open. Get in touch with us today!

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